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Men’s basketball goes 2-0 on opening weekend

This Sunday, the Stony Brook Seawolves Men’s Basketball team faced the Haverford Fords in Pritchard Gymnasium. The Seawolves hoped to build off of their win on Friday against the Marist Foxes and go 2-0 on the season. What stood in the way was the Fords, a Division III team, Haverford’s claim to fame is having the only varsity cricket team in America. The Fords came off a 7-17 season.

In the first half, an upset seemed like a real possibility, as the Seawolves got off to their second slow start in a row on the season. It was their offense that was stagnant for the first half of the period. They were unable to convert their opportunities they generated from their defensive efforts, and Haverford was able to hang in, even taking a 15-13 lead with 9:53 left. However, as the half closed out, the Seawolves began to pull ahead as their shots started to fall, as they went on a 15-5 run following Haverford taking the lead, and headed in to the locker room with a 39-30 lead, closed out with a buzzer beating tip in by Chris Braley.

The Seawolves were without their starting forward Eric McAlister, out with a sore ankle, who was their third leading scorer against Marist. However, his replacement, Scott King, played lights out in the first half, dropping 11 points on only five shots, a perfect 3-3 from the arc. King, Anthony Jackson and Jameel Warney dragged the teams offense through the first half, with the three of them accounting for 31 of the team’s 39 points.

The second half, presumably after an animated half time talk by coach Pikiell, was not as tight, score wise, for the Seawolves. Coming out with a 7-point lead, the team quickly took a 12-point lead and never let the Fords get close again. The Seawolves improved to 51.7 percent shooting on the half, and dominated the smaller Haverford forwards on the glass. They were able to keep the Fords out of the paint, forcing them to take an absurd amount of threes, 30 total on the day. Unfortunately for the Seawolves, the treys were falling for Haverford, and they shot 6-17 during the half. This kept them from a complete blowout, along with eight turnovers by the Seawolves.

The Seawolves win was largely due to their domination of the paint. They out rebounded Haverford 47-26, creating 13 second chance points, and scored 34 points in the paint to Haverford’s 16. King and Warney lead this offensive, with each posting a double double, King’s career first and Warney’s second in a row. King’s final stat line featured 11 points on 3-5 three point shooting, 10 rebounds, two blocks, two assists and a steal. Warney put up 15 points on 6-8 shooting, with 10 boards, an assist and a block. The final major contributor, Anthony Jackson, dropped a game high 24 points, beating his career high he set Friday against Marist.

However, the Seawolves were rather lucky they played a Division III opponent, as they are 6-0 under Pikiell against Division II/III opponents.

Their effort seemed lacking on the court, and their play was very sloppy at times.

They had more turnovers than a bakery, 17 total on the day. The mood at the post game press conference was not of a team content with the win. coach Pikiell gave a terse coach’s statement. “The statement is we play Wednesday against Northeastern, and we better be better than we were today,” Pikiell told reporters after the game.

“I just wanted to step in for Eric, we had a man down, so I had to do what I had to do,” King commented on his performance.

“Like coach said, the good thing about basketball is that we have another game Wednesday,” Warney added.

“I think the zone was what they run, I guess we weren’t really focused and our approach to the game wasn’t up to par, I guess. We weren’t ready to play today. Like Jameel said, we have another game on Wednesday,” Jackson commented.

The Seawolves, as you might of guessed, will host the Northeastern Huskies this Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Northeastern is 0-1 on the season, having lost a close game to former America East member Boston University.

The Seawolves will have to bring a more polished, prepared game against them, as it will be their biggest challenge yet this year.

Anthony Jackson led the team with 24 points  on 9-of-14 shooting. He also made two three-pointers in the win. Photo by Basil John
Anthony Jackson led the team with 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting. He also made two three-pointers in the win. Photo by Basil John
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